[mythtv-users] Recommendations for a new tuner card on a low-spec machine
dsmolka at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 01:05:36 UTC 2007
On 5/31/07, Gabriel J. Michael <gjm at umd.edu> wrote:
> 1. Is there some way to configure MythTV to simply display live TV
> without recording it (or to launch a tvtime-like application from within the
> MythTV interface)? This way I could use the framegrabber I already have for
> the sole purpose of viewing live TV, and use a PVR-150 for recording.
Not natively. This isn't really what Myth is designed to do, but Myth
is designed to be very flexible.
You can insert a menu item that call up an external application like
xawtv to display unbuffered input from a V4L card (such as the
frame-grabber you mentioned).
But using a computer to watch live TV gives you all the disadvantages
of live TV combined with all the disadvantages of watching on a
computer screen. Once you get recording schedules, you'll never watch
anything 'live' again.
> 2. If that won't work, and I get a PVR-500 (which is a little
> expensive for me), would my hardware be able to keep up with two MPEG-2
It shouldn't be a problem, provided you can actually get two streams.
If you're on satellite, digital cable, or any other system that
requires a set top box, you'll need two STBs to use both tuner inputs.
If your signal is pure analog cable or pure analog OTA, both of which
are on the way out, you'll have no problem. At least until the plug is
finaly pulled on analog transmission.
> 3. Does anyone else have any experience with low-end boxes like this?
> Is it a worthwhile endeavor, or is there a high likelihood I'll be
> disappointed with the picture quality, performance, etc. (480x480 or so
> would be nice, maybe even a little higher).
You won't likely have problems recording in SD, even two or more
streams. It may be a bit pokey with database operations, and menu
navigation may be a bit slow.
It's quite likely you'll run into issues with the on-board video.
You'll really, really want to get a compatible video card -- meaning a
nvidia. But I can verify that a gf2 will work, a gf4 will work better,
and any fx5x00 or 6x00 is golden. You can find a good card with
heatsink (no fan) for $40 and up retail, and you can probably find a
gf2 or gf4 for free with a bit of luck.
> 4. I'm trying not to hoard a lot of old TV shows, but if I find myself
> wanting to move MythTV recordings to another computer for archival (one that
> is NOT running MythTV – I have a Windows machine with two 500 GB drives),
> will I be able to easily?
Assuming you're using a PVR card, these recordings will be MPEG-2, so
can be played on a wide variety of players. Mplayer and vlc are both
available for windows and, quite frankly, blow the doors off of
Windows-only players, particularly the bundled one.
Mythtv assigns file names to recordings based on channel number, date,
and start and end times. It can natively transcode recordings to save
space, and nuvexport can further compress the recordings while
destructively removing breaks (natively, Myth flags breaks and can
skip them on playback but doesn't remove them). However, you are
unlikely to get very good transcoding performance with your rig.
Without transcoding, you can use mythrename.pl to add human-readable
names to your recordings.
And theoretically, although I've never actually heard of anyone doing
this, you could set up one of your large MS Windows drives as a share,
mount it under Myth with Samba, and use that as your recording drive.
> 5. I've heard rumors that new PVR-150s have a different chip that will
> not work under Linux. Anyone know anything about this?
I've heard this but am not sure what the current situation is or
whether this has been resolved. A quick search of the list archives
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